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SHANGRAH LA

by

Wayne H.W Wolfson

for H.P. Tinker

It was a nic-name from the small notepad I always kept in my pocket.

"Detective..."

I needed my head for business, the stories went here. Besides, the cloth of the pocket stretching over it was a comfort.

The stories gave me license to do what ever I wanted. Truth be told, the crimes came before the motive almost always.

For all of us, whether we realize it or not, all is appetite. If it can be turned into art, then all the better, then all is allowed.

I was pointed to the table closest to the bar. It was that way on purpose, so when things got too sad there wouldn't be much walking involved.

I was the last to arrive. It had to be that way. Her friends were common with a dullness that was fatiguing. Not common like you, but common in a way that can occur only when the pretentious aim for arty.

I had seen it all, so the Bulgarian resistance fighter turned ballerina and the one armed lion tamer did nothing for me.

My finger tips brushed the bulge of the pad and then tapped my watch three times for luck and to magically make time fly.

All the parties, they blur together into a wait. Time slowed down, way down, an hour being added for every body that entered the room.

I cleared my throat.

"Hey detective..."

Every time, I swore to myself. This was it, the last martini.

All the parties, the bad poetry she would insist on reading me from the flower speckled notebooks before I could touch her.

Sabbath was crazy and angry at the world, but this equation added up to a bedroom very few could enter, even fewer could leave intact.

What was it someone had once said? Paris is worth a mass.

All is appetite.

Now that I was here someone snapped their fingers and a lit cake was wheeled out. I noticed they had spelled her name wrong.

"Happy Birthday."

I waited until people started talking into their cups to really look around.

At the bar a horn player, my favorite. As a child he had asthma. His parents bought him a saxophone so he could learn breath control. Now there was a bit of that dying in every note he played. My favorite.

"I'll be right back, I see someone."

I bought him two drinks before he'd look at me.

"Look at those long lashes you got, like a ladies. Let me have some to put in my pocket, mine are all gone."

He was already gone by the time I thought to ask him to play.

I headed out to the pool. The chairs all had nothing to do, I sat down debating whether to remove my shoes.

After the despair of the lounge's coolness the heat felt delicious. A breeze so soft that I didn't believe it was there slowly knocked the dry husks of the palms against itself.

Castanets played more for habit than seduction. The pool's surface was a mirror whose spell could easily be broken by any stray leaf's descent.

The whole thing, a poem I had no desire to share.

When I felt I could sleep I got up and went back in.

She used that sharp tongue to shear a frosting flower from the cake's surface. The whole thing disappeared in a soft bite to the applause of the crowd.

More sickening than the sugary sweetness would be her after party commentary. But no one would hear that, no one but me.

I was once again at her side. She squeezed my arm in a signal I didn't understand. More of her secret alphabet.

I felt out of sorts and realized that the pad had fallen out of my pocket. Probably when I was reclining on the chair.

Again, "I'll be right back"

A fat man in suspenders stood by the pool. He was holding the pad up to the light and licking his finger with every turn of the page.

"Fame is a lot like pussy. How it tastes largely depends on how you come by it."

I head back inside for that last martini, the castanets finishing their song alone.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Wayne H.W Wolfson is an internationally published author based out of California. Currently He is completing a collaboration with Boston based Grenadier on a CD of spoken word and music. For more on Wayne go to his website.








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